Design for Innovation


Interview with Tom Schnell

This project was in Zanesville, Ohio on what was then known as Muskingum Area Technical College. Still standing, this building is now known as Campus Center at Ohio University Zanesville/Zane State College. Before this building, this campus wasn’t clearly defined. It was bits and pieces of academia but not a fully developed campus. Wandel & Schnell, Architects placed this new student union in a spot that would form a quadrangle and create a sense of direction and flow.

Once the team was formed, they began the master plan, which was just a mishmash of pieces to start. It was a combination of classrooms, lounges, administration offices, a bookstore, and a banquet hall. All of these aspects were collected together in a way to form circulation within the building, which was the intention from the beginning. The design joined the concept of circulation, that a person always knew their place in the building, and natural light.

The materials were fairly traditional with an addition of a white canopy for contrast. The dining area was rounded, which made it like an axis to the rest of the building. All of the elements made it a popular building. The budget was creative. “We had a limited budget, but we also had a very creative superintendent,” Tom Schnell said. “We got everything we wanted and we were still within budget. That’s important.”

A lot of big things were happening that year and Wandel & Schnell, Architects moving their office to Chesnut Street was one of them. “We were pretty excited in general. Naturally,” he said. It opened up a new market that wasn’t Columbus.

“What do you think was important about this project that you took with you to other projects?” I asked Tom.

“The nature and philosophy of our buildings are to find natural pathways, so when you’re in my buildings, you know where you are. It just takes a big idea,” he replied. “The client was really happy with the building. It’s beautiful after all.”

1990 Pop Culture Facts

To start, in 2013 there was a poll conducted by The Economist that rated the 1990s the least memorable decade of the 20th century, so… there’s that. Here’s to nine more years of the 90s on the blog. It may not be memorable in its entirety, but I seem to remember a certain pepper-haired Richard Gere and an amiable Julia Roberts filling the screen with good vibes. And who can forget the first time Kevin gets left Home Alone while his family goes on vacation? Not many people walk around not knowing who the Zodiac Killer was. 1990 is the year on record that he killed his first victim (although who can be sure if it was his first, right?). And, like, we all know that Roseanne Barr has a voice like Beyoncé… Yoncé if you will. Rosie got her start by singing The National Anthem at the Reds vs. Padres game in Cincinnati. 

In firm news, Wandel & Schnell, Architects packed up all of their belongings and put it at 130 East Chestnut Street.